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Taiwan DPP wants public debate on trade pact with China

Taiwan DPP wants public debate on trade pact with China

The opposition Democratic Progressive Party yesterday criticized a surprise decision by the Ministry of Economic Affairs to "postpone" a planned public hearing on the possibility of an "economic cooperation framework agreement" with the People's Republic of China and called for a public debate on the issue.
Economic Affairs Minister Yin Chi-ming announced the decision to delay a "Conference on Global Economic Integration and the Development of Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation" scheduled to be held tomorrow at the Civil Service Development Center in Taipei after the DPP, the Taiwan Solidarity Union and labor and farmer organizations announced plans to protest the event.
Yin stated that the MOEA intended to hold a "rational discussion" and did not wish to "cause any inconvenience" to nearby residents and did not announce a new date or venue for the conference.
After hearing of the postponement, DPP spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang stated that the MOEA's decision was "absurd" and showed that "the Ma Ying-jeou government lacked the courage and sincerity to face public opinion but simply wanted to listen to one view and receive an endorsement for its aim to sign a ECFA."
"Such an important issue should have a comprehensive discussion in society ... so a consensus can be reached on the best way for Taiwan's future," said the DPP spokesman.
Cheng had earlier announced after the weekly meeting of the opposition party's Central Standing Committee that the DPP Legislative Caucus would send five lawmakers to attend the public hearing as well as participating in the protests outside the conference site.
Moreover, Cheng related that DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen had asked former World Trade Organization permanent representative Yen Ching-chang, former Council for Economic Planning and Development chairman and Taiwan Thinktank Chairman Chen Po-chih and National Taiwan University economist Professor Lin Shang-kai to attend the session.
Cheng also announced that the DPP policy making body had approved a resolution to establish a task force to evaluate methods to bolster the referendum system and also to launch a grassroots education campaign on the ECFA/CECA issue.
The DPP spokesman added that the party Central Standing Committee had approved a proposal to extend support to a march
In addition, DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen confirmed yesterday that the opposition party "hoped to make use of the party management and electoral strategy expertise" of former DPP secretary-general Wu Nai-jen.
Although Tsai said that the appointment had not yet been finalized, Wu confirmed that he had held discussions with the DPP chairwoman during which the two had "reached ... a conclusion but do not yet have a final decision."
Wu, who began his political career with opposition magazines in the 1980s, has held numerous positions in the 22-year old party including service as DPP secretary-general from 2000 through 2002.
Under the DPP government, Wu served as chairman of the state - owned Taiwan Sugar Corporation, the chairman of the Taiwan Stock Exchange Corporation from October 2004 through April 2007 and chairman of the abortive Taiwan Goal Corporation.
Wu now serves as chairman of the New Society for Taiwan think tank which groups many lawmakers and scholars affiliated with the former New Tide faction.
Speaking to reporters after meeting with several leaders of Taiwan-centric civic groups yesterday morning, Tsai related that DPP and civic group leaders had discussed methods to express the dissatisfaction of the Taiwan people with the policies of the Ma Ying-jeou government and affirmed that social movements would help bolster support for social reform issues.


Updated : 2021-07-24 14:00 GMT+08:00